Anna Calvi - Domino
FILTER Grade: 82%
By Ken Scrudato on March 10, 2011
While Anna Calvi’s eponymous debut opens with a Bad Seeds–worthy Southern-gothic-requiem instrumental flourish (and like Herr Cave, Ms. Calvi has a charming penchant for name-checking the Prince of Darkness), she tempers her more sordid proclivities with a cultivated, almost modern-classical spatiality—which suggests she’s clocked a few studious hours with Mssrs. Satie and Debussy. This uncluttered compositional philosophy allows her élan vital to soar decisively heavenward on such moments of unbridled cathartic glory as “First We Kiss” and “Blackout.” She has, in these times drowning in calculated disaffection, a rare capacity for breathlessly unselfconscious declarations of passion and desire. And unlike Cave, who drags all those poor characters of his down into that gruesome purgatory he calls a soul, Calvi simply lays hers unabashedly bare before us. Never have the aesthetics of doom been called to the service of so much exuberance.